Verari Sold, Driggers Back as CEO
January 17th, 2010 By: Rich Miller
High performance computing specialist Verari is regrouping after a team led by company co-founder Dave Driggers prevailed in an auction of the company’s assets. On Dec. 11 Verari halted most operations and laid off most of its staff, and its assets were placed for sale in an auction run by Credit Management Association. The company never filed for bankruptcy protection, but instead sold its assets through a process known as Assignment for the Benefit of Creditors, with Silicon Valley Bank as the largest creditor.
Driggers was CEO of Verari until 2006, when David Wright came from EMC Corp. to take over the CEO position and Driggers became Chief Technology Officer. When Verari was placed for sale, Driggers assembled a bid, and last week InsideHPC reported that he had won the bidding. Late last week the management page on the Verari web site was updated to list Driggers as the chairman and CEO.
What’s the plan for Verari and its technology? Is Driggers’ interest focused primarily on servers and blades, or will the “new Verari” also pursue the data center container business, where Verari offered the FOREST container? Sources tell us additional details may be released early this week.
Verari announced its container program shortly after Sun Microsystems unveiled its Blackbox container, since renamed the Sun MD. Verari’s FOREST container had recorded some high-profile customers wins in recent months, including sales to Qualcomm and a deal with NASA to house its new Nebula cloud computing platform.
Microsoft also uses a Verari container to power its Virtual Earth service. Despite its early adoption of Verari’s container, Microsoft later chose to use containers from Rackable and Dell in its huge container farm data center in Chicago, which may ultimately hold up to 150 containers packed with high-density servers.
Other large companies on Verari’s customer list include Virgin America, Morgan Stanley, Wachovia, Akamai, EMC, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, and Sony Imageworks.
Meanwhile, other former Verari executives are taking positions with rivals in the HPC and container game. SGI announced this week that it has hired Vincent Scarpulla as vice president of commercial sales for the Americas. Scarpulla had been vice president of worldwide field operations for Verari, where he was responsible for company sales and customer service.